This latest volume in the Culture & Civilization series
gathers interdisciplinary voices to present a collection of essays
on travel and travel narratives. The essays span a range of topics
from iconic ancient travel stories to modern tourism. They discuss
travel in the ancient world, modern heroic travels, the literary
culture of missionary travel, the intersection of fiction and
travel narratives, modern literary traditions and visions of
Greece, personal identity, and expatriation. Essays also address
travel memoirs, the re-imagining of worlds through travel,
transformed landscapes and animals in travel narratives, diplomacy,
English women travel writers, and pilgrimage and health in the
The history of travel writing takes in multiple pursuits:
exploration and conquest, religious pilgrimage and missionary work,
educational tourism and diplomacy, scientific and personal
discovery, and natural history and oral history. As a literary
genre, it has enhanced a wide range of disciplines, including
geography, ethnography, anthropology, and linguistics. Moreover,
twenty-first-century interests in travel and travel writing have
produced a global framework that promises to expand travel's
theoretical reach into the depths of the Internet, thus challenging
our conventional concept of what it means to travel.
The fact that travel and travel writing have a prehistory that
is embedded in foundational religious texts and ancient narratives
of journey, like the Odyssey and the Epic of Gilgamesh, makes both
travel and travel writing fundamental and essential expressions of
humanity. Travel encourages writing, particularly as epistolary and
poetic chronicling. This is clearly a history and tradition that
began with human communication and which has kept pace with our
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